Poems Without Frontiers

Poems in Translation

David Paley






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Dancing
David Paley

I heard the music through the dark
As windows opened to the air
And, as dancers twirled, became aware
Of a babbling, murmured chorus
That sailed through garden rapture.
From sparkling wine and merry talk,
You came out from crowded rooms
To dance with me upon the terrace
And we, in silence, waltzed together.

First rays then pierced our friend
To strike the panes with glints of fire
That brought our dance to early end
Casting darkness on the morning pyre
When lights burned low as daylight rose;
Too hasty was the waking sun
To kill, too soon, the aging night
That bequeathed its wealth before its due
But granted time for the life we chose.

Those hours had passed away;
Dawn bade farewell to festive heights
And arms and glasses then were lowered.
We buttoned coats for setting home,
And, stopping only to thank our hostess,
Hastened through the empty streets
Past shining roofs in rising light
To welcome fondly bonds of sleep
And dreams of dancing on the terrace.

New born baby in its mother's arms,
Glistening dew on blooms at dawn,
The smiling child as it sees its home
The snow that lies on pristine hills
And sight of crocus with the winter passed;
Homely warmth with frost outside,
The glint of gold at eventide
Soaring bird in cloudless skies,
Or rainbow after stormy blast.

But none are like that day of youth
When those evening breaths in summer
Brushed gently by upon my cheek
And I dreamt I felt a vision
Drifting past like floating clouds,
Perfume wafting faintly to me
To stay forever within my soul,
A blessing held beyond compare
Granted by the party crowds.

Now church bells peal from far away,
The brook is gurgling over stones
And breezes shake the corn
Like rippling laughter over fields
Waving still as daytime closes.
That night sent tunes to play through life
And we have danced throughout the years
Along a road well chosen
Lined with fragrant roses.